March 2004

Rev spared jail in child porn case

A clergyman who downloaded child pornography from the internet has escaped jail after a court heard he had already suffered ‘dreadful consequences’.

Rev Darryl Gibbs was conditionally discharged for 12 months and ordered to pay £250 towards the prosecution costs.

Swansea crown court heard how Gibbs, who had served in the past as a curate to Llandysul and as chaplain to the Carmarthenshire College of Technology and Art, was caught after an allegation was made against him. Although the allegation proved unfounded, police examined the hard drives of his personal computer and found two indecent images of boys under the age of 16.

Rev Gibbs told police he had toured homosexual websites but had not searched for pictures of under-age boys.

One had appeared on his computer by accident and the second had been sent to him in an e-mail from a man he exchanged messages with in a gay chatroom, he said. Gibbs, aged 31, admitted two offences of making an indecent image.

Judge Michael Burr said the offences had had ‘dreadful consequences’ for Rev Gibbs, who had already resigned his post.

The consequences, he said, demonstrated the dangers of someone in Rev Gibbs’ position becoming involved in ‘this type of activity’. But he accepted the images were low in number and fell into the lowest category of indecency.

Rev Gibbs was not required to register with the police as a sex offender.